Zhonghua Da Zidian

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The Zhonghua Da Zidian (simplified Chinese: 中华大字典; traditional Chinese: 中華大字典; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Dà Zìdiǎn; Wade–Giles: Chung-hua Ta Tzu-tien; literally: "Chinese Great Dictionary") was an unabridged Chinese dictionary of characters published in 1915. The chief editors were Xu Yuan'gao (徐元誥), Lu Feikui (陆費逵/陆费逵), and Ouyang Pucun (歐陽溥存/欧阳溥存). It was based upon the 1716 Kangxi Zidian, and is internally organized using the 214 Kangxi radicals. The Zhonghua Da Zidian contains more than 48,000 entries for individual characters, including many invented in the two centuries since the Kangxi Dictionary.

Each character entry includes the fanqie spelling from the Jiyun, the modern pronunciation given with a common homophone, different meanings (up to 40), classical quotations, and two-character compounds using the character. Although Teng and Biggerstaff (1971:131) acknowledge the Zhonghua Da Zidian "is very comprehensive and is very carefully compiled," they note three defects. The index, which is arranged by number of strokes, can be inconvenient (e.g., 2189 characters are listed under 9 strokes). The margins do not have characters to help locate entries under a radical. The two-character phrases may be listed under either component.

See also[edit]


  • Teng, Ssu-yü and Biggerstaff, Knight. 1971. An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Chinese Reference Works, 3rd ed. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-03851-7
  • Zhonghua da zidian (中華大字典, "Comprehensive Chinese character dictionary"). 1915. 4 vols. Shanghai: Zhonghua. Repr. 1981. 2 vols. Beijing: Zhonghua.

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